MDC-T Matabeleland South senior official Jerow Habvane has lashed out at President Robert Mugabe’s deputy chief secretary Ray Ndhlukula for seeking to forcibly take over Centenary Farm in Figtree.
Former Zipra fighters teamed up with farm workers and staged a demonstration against Ndhlukula.
Habvane, who had been seconded to the stillborn provincial councils created by the new Constitution, yesterday said the latest farm invasions were “an act of terror”.
“I fully back the actions by the Zipra Veterans’ Trust to demonstrate against Ndhlukula. If I had heard in time I would have joined,” he said.
“The invasion is worse than what the whites used to implement during the settler regime.
“Whites used to ferry blacks from the land to another locality and in some cases drill boreholes.
“That was okay to a certain extent, but that is not the case now. People are just thrown out by fellow blacks. I call it terrorism.”
Habvane said it was not proper to assume that the white community was against the liberation struggle and should be evicted.
He said it was surprising and disturbing that the recent farm invasions were concentrated in Matabeleland and spearheaded by people from other provinces.
“There is a hidden force behind the invasions. I strongly suspect there is tacit support by Zanu PF’s top leadership on the invasions,” he said.
“Their silence points to that. If people from this region would invade farms in Mashonaland, they would be swiftly and harshly dealt with.
“Who on earth can invade Dumiso Dabangwa’s farm without the backing of powerful politicians in the country?”
Ndhlukula reportedly moved his property and workers to Centenary Farm about 30km from Bulawayo despite a High Court order barring him from interfering with operations on the property.
He went on to evict 75 families from the farm compound and workers, some who have been staying at the farm since the 1960s and have nowhere to go.
According to a petition to Sadc leaders who attended a heads of State summit in Victoria Falls last weekend, one Centenary Farm worker Tymon Sibanda said he was a target of the Rhodesian forces who accused him of hiding Zipra fighters during the war.
He was also hunted down by the North Korea-trained 5 Brigade during the Gukurahundi atrocities in the early 1980s.